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About Gift of Hope

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Executive and Leadership Team


Our Executive and Management Team operates under the direction of Kevin Cmunt, President/CEO, our Board of Directors and our Advisory Council. Our leadership team establishes the organization's strategic direction and guides a clinical, operations and administrative staff of more than 200 people in conducting our day-to-day business and clinical activities, all of which seek to save and enhance people's lives through donation.

Meet the Members of Our Leadership Team

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  • Kevin Cmunt
    President/CEO

    Kevin CmuntKevin Cmunt is President/CEO of Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network. In that role, he provides overall leadership for the organization, guides its strategic direction and ensures that the organization stays true to its mission — to save and enhance the lives of as many people as possible through organ and tissue donation

    Before joining Gift of Hope in December 2012, Kevin served as Executive Vice President of AlloSource, Gift of Hope's Centennial, Colo.-based tissue processing and distribution partner. In that role, he was responsible for AlloSource's external relationships, including management of donor agency partnerships and business relationships with customers, medical professionals and hospitals. He also was responsible for driving progressive product development that honored the gift of donation by maximizing its impact to the medical community and tissue transplant recipients. Before joining AlloSource, Kevin held various engineering, operations and business development positions with the American Ref-Fuel Company.

    In addition to serving as Gift of Hope's chief executive, Kevin currently provides industry leadership as President of the American Association of Tissue Banks. He has also served as Chairman of the Board for LABS Inc., a leading provider of testing services for the tissue industry, and as a Board member for the Joint Restoration Foundation, which advances the use of allografts in sports medicine.

    Kevin holds bachelor's and master's degrees in engineering from the University of Illinois and Illinois Institute of Technology, respectively. He was born, raised and currently resides in Illinois.

  • Martin Jendrisak, MD, FACS
    Medical Director and Vice President, Research and Development

    Martin D. JendrisakMartin Jendrisak, MD, FACS, is Medical Director and Vice President of Research and Development for Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network. As Medical Director, he provides medical oversight of all organ and tissue recovery operations for Gift of Hope. In his R&D role, Dr. Jendrisak oversees Gift of Hope's research activities, including lab testing innovations and donor management enhancements, and he fosters research collaboration with universities, transplant programs and fellowship programs.

    Before joining Gift of Hope in 2010, Dr. Jendrisak was the Surgical Director of the kidney transplant program at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri. He was the Associate Medical Director at Mid-America Transplant Association for more than 15 years, and also served on their Board of Directors and Medical Advisory Committee. He is a member of the United Network for Organ Sharing's (UNOS) OPO committee, the American College of Surgeons, the American Society of Transplant Surgeons, and St. Louis Surgical Society among several others.

    Dr. Jendrisak's work has lead to active programs in blood group incompatible transplantation, desensitization of allosensitized patients, paired kidney exchange and post-transplant immune monitoring. He co-developed the Mini-nephrectomy, a minimally invasive open live donor nephrectomy to reduce living donor operative morbidity. In addition, he implemented and directed the altruistic living donor program in collaboration with Missouri's OPO, Mid-America Transplant Services.

    Dr. Jendrisak completed his fellowship in transplantation and his residency at Washington University School of Medicine/Barnes Hospital in St. Louis. He holds his medical degree from The Ohio State University College of Medicine in Columbus, Ohio.

  • Ross Raspopovich
    Chief Financial Officer and Vice President, Business Development

    Ross G. RaspopovichRoss Raspopovich is Chief Financial Officer and Vice President of Business Development for Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network. In his role, Ross is responsible for the financial viability, budgeting, audit oversight, business insurance, treasury, tax, credit, investments, accounts receivable, accounts payable and all accounting functions for the organization. In addition, he is responsible for identifying new business opportunities that complement the organization's existing services and support its mission and for executing plans to bring those new businesses to life.

    Before joining Gift of Hope in 1999, then known as the Regional Organ Bank of Illinois, Ross was director of finance for York Behavioral Health Care, L.L.C., at Managed Care Resources Management Group in Burr Ridge, Ill. His more than 20 years of accounting and finance experience also includes positions at Aon Corporation in Chicago.

    Ross holds a master's degree in business administration from Indiana University in Gary and a bachelor's degree in accounting from Illinois State University.

  • Evelyn Schultz, CPTC
    Vice President of Internal Operations

    Evelym SchultzEvelyn Schultz, CPTC, is Vice President of Internal Operations for Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network. In her role, Evelyn provides hands-on management of Gift of Hope's four strategic drivers — donor management, organ placement, tissue recovery and donor authorization. She also oversees all phases of the organ and tissue recovery process, including requesting, organ allocation, and surgical recovery and preservation. Her responsibilities also include day-to-day management of all Gift of Hope organ recovery staff and oversight of the pulsatile perfusion laboratory and medical records.

    Evelyn began as an organ recovery coordinator with Gift of Hope in 1993, then known as the Regional Organ Bank of Illinois. Her subsequent positions include donor management specialist, team leader, supervisor and manager. Before joining Gift of Hope, Evelyn was a registered respiratory therapist at a Level 1 trauma center for 13 years. A certified procurement transplant coordinator, she is a member of the North American Transplant Coordinators Organization and is a past member of the Pediatric Transplant Committee for the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network/United Network for Organ Sharing.

    Evelyn holds an associate's degree in applied science from Moraine Valley Community College in Palos Hills, Ill.

  • Gregory Alford
    Director of Communications and Marketing

    Kathleen AbhalterGregory Alford is Director of Communications and Marketing for Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network. In his role, Gregory is responsible for Gift of Hope's communications, public relations, public education, donor family services, professional education and marketing activities.

    Before joining Gift of Hope in January 2015, Gregory founded and led Accelerated Coaching & Consulting, counseling small and large businesses on strategic planning, internal and external branding, change management, event planning and execution, market research, social media and media relations. He also provided coaching services directed to corporate leaders and business owners to improve the alignment of values and actions and develop leadership skills.

    Previous to that Gregory served as National Director of Marketing and Public Relations for Seasons Healthcare Management, the Rosemont, Ill.-based parent organization of Seasons Hospice, a national provider of hospice and palliative care services. He also served as Director of Public Affairs and Marketing for Advocate Lutheran General Hospital and Advocate Children's Hospital in Park Ridge, Ill., and Director of Business Development and Marketing for Advocate BroMenn Medical Center and Advocate Eureka Hospital based in Normal, Ill.

    Before joining the Advocate Health team, Gregory held positions as Regional Director of Marketing and Public Relations for Presence Health in Chicago and Communications Manager at OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center in Peoria, Ill. He holds a master's degree in psychology from Capella University in Minneapolis and a bachelor's degree in liberal arts from Columbia College in Columbia, Mo.

  • Andrés Jaramillo, PhD, HCLD/CC (ABB)
    Director of Histocompatibility & Immunogenetics Laboratory

    Andres JaramilloAndrés Jaramillo, PhD, is Director of the Histocompatibility & Immunogenetics Laboratory for Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network. In his role, Dr. Jaramillo is responsible for the overall supervision of lab activities. In addition, he serves on Gift of Hope's Advisory Council.

    Before joining Gift of Hope, he was director of the Histocompatibility & Immunogenetics Laboratory and Assistant Professor of Pathology at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. Prior to that, Dr. Jaramillo was Assistant Director of the Histocompatibility & Immunogenetics Laboratory at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis and Research Assistant Professor of Surgery at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Dr. Jaramillo is certified as a High-Complexity Clinical Laboratory Director and Clinical Consultant in Diagnostic Immunology by the American Board of Bioanalysis. A Fulbright Scholar, he has published numerous journal articles, meeting abstracts and book chapters in the field.

    Dr. Jaramillo holds a PhD degree in immunology and microbiology from the University of Louisville in Kentucky.

  • Edward Lesh
    Director of Transportation and Facilities Management

    Edward LeshEdward Lesh is Director of Transportation and Facilities Management for Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network. In his role, Ed is responsible for operation of Gift of Hope's organ and tissue transportation system including the hiring and training of staff; purchase, maintenance and licensing of vehicles; and policies and procedures for operating transportation services. In addition, he manages the Gift of Hope property, which includes management of maintenance agreements, property security, policies and procedures, and building operations.

    Before joining Gift of Hope in 2003, Ed was manager of building services for Silver Cross Hospital in Joliet, Ill. Certified in air-conditioning and refrigeration, boiler operations and building maintenance, he is a member of the National Fire Protection Agency and the Building Owners and Managers Association.

    Ed completed undergraduate classes in business management and computer science at Lewis University in Romeoville, Ill.

  • Arnitha Lim, RN, BSN, CNOR, CTBS
    Director of Tissue Recovery Services

    Arnitha B. LimArnitha Lim, RN, BSN, CNOR, CTBS, is Director of Tissue Recovery Services for Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network. In her role, Arnitha oversees all aspects of the tissue recovery process, including strategic direction and management of tissue procurement staff. In addition, she identifies procedures and protocols to ensure compliance with all regulatory and peer accreditation rules and guidelines. She also provides overall direction of Gift of Hope's 24/7 Donor Resource Center.

    A certified nurse of the operating room and certified tissue banking specialist, Arnitha had served as a per-diem Tissue Recovery Coordinator with Gift of Hope for more than two years. Previously, she was a staff nurse at Resurrection Medical Center in Chicago, working in critical care and operating room settings.

    Arnitha holds a bachelor of science degree in nursing from Lewis University in Romeoville, Ill.

  • Jack Lynch
    Director of Community Affairs

    Jackie D. LynchJack Lynch is Director of Community Affairs for Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network. In his role, Jack is responsible for developing and maintaining communications that promote organ and tissue donation within selected community groups and hospitals. He also oversees Gift of Hope's African-American Task Force, composed of more than 100 volunteers who coordinate donor education programs in the African-American communities throughout Illinois and northwest Indiana.

    Before joining Gift of Hope in 1987, then known as the Regional Organ Bank of Illinois, Jack was a manager of hospital development for Sandoz Pharmaceuticals in Hanover, N.J. Recognized as a leader in addressing organ donation and education in the African-American community, Jack was appointed by former Illinois Gov. George Ryan to serve as chairman of the Illinois Department of Public Health Organ Donation Committee in 1993. He carried out this role until 2003 and currently serves on Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White's Organ Donation Advisory Board. A member of numerous healthcare and donation-related organizations, he is a guest instructor at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, the University of Illinois School of Public Health in Chicago and the University of Illinois School of Medicine in Chicago. In addition to speaking at numerous hospitals and organ transplant programs across the country, Jack has been frequently interviewed on minority organ and tissue donation for local, regional and national media.

    After attending Chicago city collegesand Chicago State University, Jack went on to participate in the master med program at Meharry Medical College in Nashville.

  • Marianne Steimle
    Director of Human Resources & Training

    Mary E. KarrMarianne Steimle is Director of Human Resources & Training for Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network. In her role, Marianne oversees all human resources functions, including recruitment, compensation, benefits, employee relations and employment law compliance. She also oversees the organization's clinical and operations training program.

    Before joining Gift of Hope in 2012, Marianne served as Director of Human Resources for Individual Advocacy Group, a not-for-profit organization that provides training, therapies and residential programs for children and adults with special needs. Concurrently, she provided pro-bono human resources project management services for the Taproot Foundation, a not-for-profit organization that makes business talent available to organizations working to improve society.

    Marianne holds Senior Professional in Human Resources certification and is Board Secretary of the Illinois State Council of the Society for Human Resource Management. She also is a member of the Human Resource Association of Oakbrook and Grundy/Will Human Resource Association.

    Marianne earned an MBA from Benedictine University in Lisle, Ill., and holds a bachelor of science degree in marketing and finance from DePaul University in Chicago.

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Our Mission

Our mission is to save and enhance the lives of as many people as possible through organ and tissue donation.


Our Vision

That every opportunity for organ and tissue donation is successful.


Our Values

  • Honor the Gifts
  • Strive for Excellence
  • Build a Dedicated Team
  • Inspire Our Communities

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Gift of Hope Organ & Tissue Donor Network
Headquarters: 425 Spring Lake Drive, Itasca, IL 60143
Satellite Office: 2401 Memphis Drive, Springfield, IL 62702

Ph: 630/758-2600 | Fx: 630/758-2601
info@giftofhope.org |
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